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#454242 - 11/18/13 09:49 AM Where do I begin?
Graeme Offline


Registered: 07/20/10
Posts: 2
Will I ever be able to push through the fear?
The fact that I can't even remember a series of events that has had such major impacts on almost every aspect of my life?
Something that has robbed me of so much?
How can I let go of the "victim"
How can I learn to trust? To love?
Why do I shut down on the people I should be reaching out to?
How long will this go on?
I've broken through the denial. Thing is - I can't remember a thing! I was told by a psychologist that I am a "textbook case"of sexual abuse. I can't remember any of it.
I am now a 43 year old married man, and I am so afraid.
I have been battling depression since I got married.
My wife and I no longer have sex.
I fear I am pushing her away from me. I just don't know where to start sometimes.
I feel cold inside.
I also feel there is NO ONE that can help me. Or truly understands. This compounds my isolation. OK - I have been sexually abused. Where do I go from here? It was ok when I was younger... why has it gotten so much worse as I get older?

Thanks for reading.

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#454274 - 11/18/13 12:27 PM Re: Where do I begin? [Re: Graeme]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 2972
Loc: O Kanada
step 1: learn to love yourself.
recognize your intrinsic value.
do not define your worth by your actions or thoughts.
you are not your thoughts and actions.
those are part of the cloud of confusion in which you find your self.
the good news is... you know where you are,
and you know what you want to change.
that is a place to stand.
that is a place to start.
visualize who you really are, inside all that noise.
find a quiet place, both physically and mentally.
once you know who you are, let all the distractions disappear.

none of it is easy,
but
that is how i do it.
keeping my self in check.
every day after day.
honestly, it works for me,
and i seem to be improving constantly.

it all takes discipline, time, patience, and forgiveness.

and most of all LOVE.

back to step 1: learn to love yourself!
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#454291 - 11/18/13 02:38 PM Re: Where do I begin? [Re: Graeme]
Graeme Offline


Registered: 07/20/10
Posts: 2
Thank you for your reply. Simple yet powerful advice.

I know the storm will pass.

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#454296 - 11/18/13 02:46 PM Re: Where do I begin? [Re: Graeme]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 2972
Loc: O Kanada
exactly!!
you already understand something essential to this.
you cannot control the weather.
but you can prepare and plan for the worse.
meanwhile, enjoy the sun while it shines.

brilliant.



have a nice day.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#454321 - 11/18/13 04:54 PM Re: Where do I begin? [Re: Graeme]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 358
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Graeme,

I'm a 64 year old gay guy, but the rest of it is familiar. What you are going through is real. The damage done to you is real. And all that blocked damage really does interfere with all of your abilities to express yourself. So, you are not insane. What is happening are normal responses to the damage you have endured. That, for me, is the good news and the bad news.

Once you figure out how you are is a natural result of your experiences, then it is possible to not be paralyzed by them. I hope you are able to decide on healthy choices to get the help you need.

Wishing you well,

Don

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#454425 - 11/19/13 09:33 AM Re: Where do I begin? [Re: Graeme]
Casmir213 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 844
Loc: Northeast, USA
Graeme,

You have a lot of important questions that you would like to have answers for. The questions you're asking may be your way of beginning the process of healing/recovery from abuse. The time is right for you to be asking these questions. It's a difficult thing for a child to have gone through sexual abuse. The things that saved us as children may be the same things that postpone the reaction that you may be having now. Middle age seems to be a time when defenses start to break down and the pain begins to break through into our awareness. It's been that way for me. I'm 46 and joined MS 4 1/2 years ago. I was puzzled by my reactions at that time. Did not understand what I was going through. Didn't want to be going through it. But knew that I was abused and that abuse will have its lasting effects. There was just no getting around that, or pushing it out of my awareness anymore. Something was definitely wrong, and I needed to know why. Perhaps you're experiencing similar things now.

My best to you in your recovery,

Caz
_________________________
I see recovery as a lifelong journey rather than a final destination, a journey, though, which can have many successes along the way.

WoR Alumnus - Hope Springs, OH, October 2009

My avatar is the farmhouse at the Hope Spring, OH WoR. It's a nice place.

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#454441 - 11/19/13 11:41 AM Re: Where do I begin? [Re: Graeme]
traveler Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3201
Loc: back in the USA
Graeme -

maybe you meant this literally or maybe rhetorically - but i am going to go with the literal:

"Where do I begin?" & "I just don't know where to start sometimes."

there is no one right way to start - in fact - by posting here and asking these questions - you have already begun - so that one huge hurdle is past and done! congratulations!

but i would say - pick the question or issue that seems the most urgent or pressing and tackle it first. chances are you might be able to sense what is the most powerful obstacle to your sense of self or well-being.

it is good to have a list like you have made so that you can sort out your thoughts. it often helps to write whatever you can think and feel and identify as related to each question or topic. but then put it aside and focus one one thing at a time if you can - to keep from getting overwhelmed. you can go back to your list at any time to add to it or - later - hopefully - check off the items you have dealt with.

on the other hand - if everything seems equally demanding of your attention - just pick one and go after it. you will most likely find that it is all related somehow and that by wrestling with one issue, you have also attacked several more at the same time.

so - you can hardly go wrong by following a lead - any lead - whether it feels less threatening or the most challenging - and seeing where it takes you.

feel free to process stuff with us here - that's what we are here for. you'll probly discover other guys who have very similar histories and can give you first-hand tips from personal experience on how to manage the garbage.

all the best!
LEE
_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

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#454474 - 11/19/13 06:40 PM Re: Where do I begin? [Re: Graeme]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Welcome Graeme and thanks for the post. To answer your question, actually you've already begun. Huge step, especially as you've described what you already know about yourself and your relationships.

Speaking for myself, some days are better/worse than others (as many on MS would say about me). At the moment, I'm having a pretty good day. That's a rarity the past few months.

fwiw, long term clinical depression has been my primary problem for years and has affected almost everything else about my life. If I'm taking care of that, best I can and with meds, things get a little easier. It may be a place to start.

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#454481 - 11/19/13 07:09 PM Re: Where do I begin? [Re: Graeme]
Onesimus75 Offline


Registered: 08/22/13
Posts: 158
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: Graeme
Will I ever be able to push through the fear?

Whether you stop feeling the fear or not, I think there's a really good chance that you can go forward even if you feel it. Soldiers I know call acting despite your fear "courage." And there are some really courageous guys who are survivors.
Quote:
How can I let go of the "victim"

In his book Victims No Longer Mike Lew has a great saying: we can't get that kid back but we can become that kid's friend. When you like and love who you were, it isn't such a burden to have him around all the time.
Quote:
How can I learn to trust? To love?

One risk at a time, the same way we learned to walk, to talk, to make friends in the first place, always scary, but each success shows us how to succeed, and each failure gives us more info on how to succeed. Even when our loved ones can't live up to our wants/needs, we're still moving forward. YOU are still moving forward!!!
Quote:
Why do I shut down on the people I should be reaching out to?

Well, I'm not in your head, but I shut down on people who are like those who have hurt me one way or the other before. I can chat and have all the Minnesota-Nice superficial relationships in teh world, but to open up to someone, to let them in scares the hell out of me because then they're past my defenses and they can hurt me. But in the end they're worth the risk. I am worth the effort. Because I want to be someone with loved ones on the inside.
Quote:
How long will this go on?

Dunno, maybe forever? But the 'this' can change. It's the change from a victim to a survivor. I like the word veteran sometimes because it sounds like someone who has earned their strength on the battlefield. Our battlefields are emotional, sexual, relational, but they're every bit as deadly as bullets, so when we walk through the fire we have earned our own respect at least. And instead of carrying the wounds we carry the strength born of surviving them!
Quote:
I am now a 43 year old married man, and I am so afraid.
so you're not crazy! Good! This is really scary stuff! All systems go there. But fear is the start, not the end. There. Is. Hope!!!
Quote:
I have been battling depression since I got married.

I've been battling depression since the first time someone fiddled me up at 11.
Quote:
I fear I am pushing her away from me. I just don't know where to start sometimes.

If the fundamental need and reason for human beings is to love and be loved, "I love you." is a great start.
Quote:
I feel cold inside.
Me too, some days.
Quote:
I also feel there is NO ONE that can help me. Or truly understands. This compounds my isolation.

No one will ever be completely able to understand you. I had my abusers, you had yours. Everyone's story is slightly different. But there are commonalities. And the more you open up to your loved ones, your therapist, your pastor/priest/life coach/whatever... the more they can understand you. You are not alone. You are not alone. You are not alone.
Quote:
OK - I have been sexually abused. Where do I go from here?
forward. Only always forward. You can do it. One great thing I found here was the stories of people who are so much better off than they were. But at the same time so many people who understand just what it is like when I stumble.
Quote:
It was ok when I was younger... why has it gotten so much worse as I get older?

Because you've run out of denial? Because the frivolous things of youth are passing away and the things that matter are going to be more central to life, and this is where the damage of abuse shows up? When I could sing, dance, and entertain people I always had something that would let me escape to. But now I just have reality, my life, and it's made me look my demons in the eye and start trying to punch their lights out.

It seems daunting, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. Then another.
You're here, so you don't have to walk alone.


Edited by Onesimus75 (11/19/13 07:10 PM)
_________________________
We are not defined by our faults, or our wounds, but by the truth within us, which nothing can take away.

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